|When two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms
combine, it creates water (H2O).
Where does the
second oxygen atom go?|
|Question Date: 2013-02-21|
Although the question is quite simple, the
answer is not. When H2 and
O2 react, they don't directly form
water. Because the reaction requires such high
temperatures, many different reactions can
happen simultaneously. Most likely,
H2 and O2 react to produce
2 OH molecules, which, among many other side-
reactions, can reach with another molecule of
H2 to make water.
If 2 hydrogen molecules and 1 oxygen
molecules combine, that would give 2 molecules
of H2O (water). That's a balanced
equation for the reaction:
2 H2 + 1 O2 = 2
Keep asking questions! Best wishes,
Two hydrogen atoms and ONE oxygen atom
combine to make water. Two hydrogen atoms and
two oxygen atoms together make hydrogen
peroxide, which is less stable than water.
They'd rather make water.
The way that this happens is that FOUR
hydrogen atoms (i.e. TWO hydrogen molecules)
combine with two oxygen atoms to make TWO
molecules of water.
The second oxygen typically combines with two
other hydrogen atoms (different from the first
two you mentioned). We usually don't talk about
just one molecule of something forming; normally
in the physical world we deal with many atoms or
molecules at once. For instance, in just one
ounce of material there can be over
1023 atoms or molecules!
That is an excellent question! The second
oxygen goes into making a
second molecule of water. This is why it is
important to balance
chemical equations. If we take the equation you
said in words and
write it with chemical symbols it looks like:
H2 + O2 -> H2O
and you are right, there is really an extra
oxygen that does not show
up in the equation. To make the equation
balanced, we write it like
2H2 + O2<.sub> -> 2H2O
Now there are the same number of each type of
atoms on both sides of
the equation! It takes twice as much hydrogen
gas as oxygen gas to
react and make water.
Click Here to return to the search form.